I’ve been thinking recently about what engages people online to spend time on various web sites. People come to eBay for the thril of the auction, the high of winning. YouTube is famous for entertaining people.
I believe that as a designer, we must think beyond the utility of our experiences and consider the other sense and feelings we create in our customers. Two examples:
- Casino Design. Over the years the industry has honed the experience down to a science (see Matt of 37signals recent post on the casino experience). For example, there are good reasons that a slot machine doesn’t look like an ATM…
MONEY GAMBLING MACHINE
Sorry, you just lost $100.
[BET AGAIN] [QUIT]
- Car Interior Design. In persuit of building the ultimate driving machine, BMW considered every element of the experience inside the car. For example the sound made when lane changing, the way the knob feels when you adjust the radio station, to the thump made when the door closes. These are not accidents but done on purpose to reinforce the powerful nature of the car.
If your business model hinges not how people feel when using your product, then it is critical that you analyze the feelings people have (or want to have) when using your product.